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This baby is not a replacement

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I woke up in the middle of the night and started crying. I tried to move around, to find some sense of comfort. But the tears kept coming. There was no comfort. Not physically, not emotionally. As my mind flashed back to my previous pregnancy, the cries turned into silent sobs.

I am pregnant with our rainbow baby, but this baby is not a replacement for the two children I lost.

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It takes just one moment for the memories of a traumatic birth or the loss of child to come flooding back. I’m at the final stretch of this pregnancy, but it’s night and day from my previous experience. As I sat in my bed, I was reminded of the long days of hospital bed rest, when we prayed for our triplets to stay tucked inside of me. But that didn’t happen.

Two of my children died in a matter of months. My introduction to motherhood quickly became tainted with trauma and tragedy. And even though this pregnancy is completely different, even though I find myself active and feeling good, there still is fear and heartache. This baby will never be a replacement for my children in Heaven.

It’s hard for people to fully grasp what’s going through my heart and my soul unless they are part of a club no parent ever wants to be part of. People assume that it’s smooth sailing once you get past a certain point in pregnancy. Maybe it’s the week you went into labor, maybe it’s the week you lost your last child.

People assume that a weight has been lifted, that you’re now entering uncharted territory. Pregnancy should get easier this time around. But that’s often not the case. Sure, we feel a sense of relief with each passing week, sure we find more hope through the muddy waters of fear. But new emotions arise with each passing day and we are often reminded of our children who are no longer with us, some who may never had taken a breath outside of the womb.

We face new fears about loss and we face guilt knowing that this rainbow baby faces a better chance at life when our other children didn’t survive. We face heartache and pain wondering what it would be like to watch this new baby play with their sibling, but knowing that will only happen in our day dreams.

As the weeks edge closer to delivery day, I find myself conflicted with emotions. The joy and love I feel for this unborn child is genuine. But, child loss has broken me, and there will always be a hole in my heart. While this baby has already proved to help me heal and see love and beauty once again, she will never be a replacement for the son and daughter who died in my arms.

A version of this originally appeared at StaceySkrysak.com

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